Asia Diary Day 1: Meeting Senders in Singapore

Posted by Alex Rubin on

Return Path recently co-hosted a deliverability seminar series in Asia titled “The Truth about Email Deliverability – How Reputation Impacts Email Deliverability.” I thought it might be interesting to share some of our experiences interacting with email senders in this large and growing region that is still learning how to interact with the rest of the internet community.

My big takeaway is that the APAC marketing community isn’t yet focused on deliverability and reputation so they are lagging the rest of the world in addressing these issues. Deliverability is still a relatively new concept for these senders. They are just beginning to understand that their subscribers are probably not receiving 20% of their emails.

But expect that to change – and quickly – as internet usage is exploding in the region.

Here are some real quotes from legitimate senders (e.g., large banks, airlines and newspaper publishers) from the audience:

  • “We don’t process bounce requests.” (I actually heard this multiple times.)
    First time hearing about feedback loops (“How much do they cost?”). In a room with more than 200 email senders with fewer than five are currently using feedback loops.
  • “My mail-blaster program doesn’t integrate with reputation data.” (Side note: “mail-blaster” might have been mistranslated, but I’m pretty sure it has negative implications…)
  • “Shouldn’t my ESP keep my reputation clean? That is why I pay them.”
  • “I’d like to sign up for a feedback loop (FBL), but I am a remote office and don’t control or have access to abuse@mydomain.com.” (This is often a requirement for participating in FBLs.)

Today most APAC-based receivers do not contribute data to publicly available reputation networks – like the Return Path Reputation Network. That will surely change soon as these receivers see the value in reputation based systems to protect their networks.

Another big problem we saw: Language barriers for issues like reading postmaster sites, best practices documents, registering for FBLs and just industry communication in general. This is an issue that must be addressed soon as the region stands to immediately benefit from simple data exchange on email best practices, opening communication channels and knowledge sharing.

In the longer term the email business worldwide will benefit from increased communication and translation efforts focused on APAC. Wider participation in a reputation data exchange will help identify spammer locations and reduce cross-border spam attacks.


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